At its May 20, 2012, commencement ceremony, DePaul College of Law will confer on graduation speaker John B. Simon (JD ’67) the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for reflecting the highest ideals of the legal profession and helping the university fulfill its Vincentian mission of education and outreach to those most in need.
Throughout his career, Simon has served not only his clients, but also the public, the legal profession and DePaul. He is a former chair of the university’s board of trustees, has served as an adjunct professor at the College of Law, and is currently an advisory board member of the law school’s Center for Dispute Resolution.
Simon has been a leader in the state and local bar associations and in dozens of community and government organizations—all while maintaining an active practice at one of the nation’s most prominent firms, Jenner & Block. He was president of the Chicago Bar Association, a member of the Illinois Supreme Court Planning and Oversight Committee for the Judicial Performance Evaluation Program, and a commissioner of the Illinois Racing Board. He currently chairs the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission as well as the court’s Rules Committee, where he facilitates the negotiation and drafting of the rules and ethical standards that govern our state’s justice system.
Committed to public service in innumerable ways, Simon has served as counsel to numerous state agencies including the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, Illinois Racing Board, Illinois Farm Development Authority, Illinois State Board of Investment, and the Illinois departments of Insurance and Public Aid. He helped expand the Illinois Toll Highway Authority system and McCormick Place, and facilitated the sale of the Chicago Milwaukee Railroad/Heartland Partners’ commuter rail lines to create a regional transportation authority, all of which had major impacts on Chicago’s regional economy. On behalf of three governors of Illinois, he faithfully served and was appointed chancellor of the Lincoln Academy, awarding the state’s highest honor each year to those who have served the state through their life’s work.
DePaul University and the College of Law are proud to honor an alumnus who has devoted his life to the well being of Illinois’ citizens and its system of justice.
DePaul College of Law's Commencement will be held Sunday, May 20, 2012, at the Akoo Theatre in Rosemont, Illinois. A full schedule of events and other information can be found on DePaul's commencement website.